Cape Town – Never mind how cold the wind may be, Round 6 of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles regional series, this weekend at Killarney, is set to deliver red-hot racing.
Leading the charge for Superbike honours will be three-times former regional champion Ronald Slamet on the IS Freight R1 - although after the drama at the previous meeting it’s unlikely he’ll be using the Yamaha’s launch control function! – with on-form Trevor Westman and the Mad Mac’s ZX-10R in hot pursuit. Also up front and hungry to get on terms with the top riders will be Gerrit Visser on the Samurai R1 and rising star Dale Field (Field Cupboards ZX-10R).
As we went to print there was as yet no entry from Slamet’s arch-rival, David McFadden (Sandton Auto S1000RR), but the former SA Supersport champion is known for "getting up on the right side of the bed" on a race day, putting in a late entry and completely upsetting the form book - which qualifies him as the darkest of dark horses.
The outlook in the hotly-contested 600 Challenge is even more volatile. With multiple title-holder Hayden Jonas riding full-time for the MiWay team in the national Super600 team, defending champion Warren Guantario will be a target for up and coming young riders such as Gareth Gehlig (RPM ZX-6R) and Shawn Payne (Slamet ZX-6R) as well as the more experienced father and son ASAP World team of Karl and Jared Schultz, and Motorwise 675 Daytona rider David Enticott.
JP Friederich must start as clear favourite, however, for Powersport honours, after dominating the class last time out on the Calberg SV650, with Chris Williams aboard the Trac Mac ER650 and veteran Paul Medell’s similar Kawasaki to keep him honest, and rookie Max Mandix, also Kawasaki ER650-mounted, to add spice to the mix.
Class B is no longer entirely populated by KTM RC390s, however, with new entries from short-circuit stalwart Grant Raeside and ASAP World’s Jared Schultz, each on a Kawasaki ZX300 twin, and Andrew Liebenberg on a Honda CBR500R single. They’ll have to pedal, however, if they want to stay with the class of the class, Samurai Racing’s Sam Lochoff and privateer Gareth Dawson, each RC390-mounted.
The rejuvenated Clubman class is not only providing some sparkling racing, it’s also proving to be a fine training ground for up and coming Superbike racers such as William Binedell on the Dog Box GSX-R600 and Johan Maritz on the Team Bakgat CBR1000RR. So it’s ironic that the man to watch out for is born-again racer Gareth Kenward, back after a 13 year absence and kicking butt on a privately entered Kawasaki ZX-10R.
Whatever the outcome, it’s going to fascinating to watch.